Blondie - Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, Mon 1 Jul 2013
Good performance yet slightly clean-cut from the New York New Wave pioneers
This article is from 2013.
New York New Wave cool gave way to cosy heritage punk pop for all-ages family parties in these most cosy of environs, and even Debbie Harry seemed puzzled by the surroundings. 'Whatever happened to the Barrowlands?' she asked. 'Does that place still exist?' She's 68 years old (it's her birthday today, in fact, and yes, she got a round of 'Happy Birthday' in her honour) and she remains eternally the most punk rock thing about Blondie. Just listen to that husky growl through 'Hangin' On the Telephone' and 'Atomic', and its smooth, sensual lustre amid 'Union City Blue' and FM radio rocker 'Maria'. The perennially uninspiring 'The Tide is High' was spiced up by an almost yelled return into the final chorus, as if even she was trying to dispel the boredom of the song.
The band played well but were perhaps too clean-cut; recent addition on guitar Tommy Kessler politely soloing at the moon while Chris Stein remained muted in the background, and never have there been more drumstick throw-and-catches than those dispensed by the hands of Clem Burke. 'Heart of Glass' was great, of course, as was the underrated 'Dreaming' and pick of the new material 'Take Me in the Night'. 'I'm trying to act my age,' informs Debbie. 'I know it's too late, but what the fuck.' And Glasgow hearts her just a little more.